Air Force Tech Sgt Aaron D. Allmon II stands accused of three kisses, six touches, and of allegedly making inappropriate comments toward women at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. You’d have thought he raped someone, but that’s not one of the charges. He will be court martialed on Monday, and the penalty could turn out to be 130 years in prison.
Talented military photographer
Sgt Allmon has spent 20 years of his life in service to America. As a military Photographer, he went to the Minot facility to teach others his craft. He also suffers from PTSD, and these charges are not helping the matter. He has served in Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and helped provide humanitarian relief after the tsunami in Indonesia and after earthquakes in Pakistan. His award-winning photographs were on the official Air Force website at www.af.mil.
The Washington Times wrote,
He is an award-winning combat photographer who stands accused of trying to pick up women in the public affairs office at MinotAir Force Base in North Dakota, and for that prosecutors wanted to put him in prison for 130 years.
The prosecutorial zeal was so great that an Air Force officer appointed to investigate the case said the piled-up charges were combined to “artificially exaggerate the criminality of the accused,” who often was simply “socially maladroit and crass…”…
The accused is Tech. Sgt. Aaron D. Allmon II. The 39-year-old arrived at Minot, a nuclear arsenal on the northern edge of the continental United States, to teach others as one of the Air Force’s best at capturing war in photographs.
What he witnessed in Iraq and Afghanistan stalked him all the way to North Dakota, along with diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder and alcohol abuse. He carries prescription drugs to fight off nightmares and excruciating back pain. His supporters say the stigma of being an accused sexual harasser is so deep-seated that Minot top brass isolated him and deliberately tried to block medical care.
Runaway government prosecutors
Sexual harassment can be a real issue – but is it worth sending a talented Air Force officer to prison for over a century? Is that the intent of the rule for stopping sexual harassment? Even Deserter Bowe Bergdahl never faced this kind of penalty and his crime was far worse and endangered military lives. This case doesn’t even involve fondling or rape. Something is VERY wrong.
This is another case of one of those “zero tolerance policies” that OVER-PUNISH people. And prosecutors are on a runaway train to some sort of vengeance. His trial begins Monday- let us hope that there are saner heads involved in the court martial proceedings.
“Because of the hypersensitivity associated with real sexual assault cases, the Air Force in particular has overreacted against Aaron in a manner that is absolutely an injustice but is also degrading the esprit de corps of unit cohesion all across the military. Even assuming all the charges are true, which they are not, this conduct as charged would warrant nonjudicial punishment, not the highest level of action at a general court-martial where Aaron could lose all his retirement benefits and go to jail.” Jeffery Addicott, law professor, and former Army judge advocate and part of Aaron’s legal defense team